All highlights & hidden gems in
The city with the beautiful creations of Gaudí, such as the Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Casa Battló or La Pedrera. Stroll along the famous Ramblas and La Boqueria market, go shopping on Passeig de Gracia or in the Barrio Gótico. A bike tour through Barcelona to discover the city in a completely different way. Take the kids to the Zoo, the Aquarium or the dazzling fountain show of the Font Mágica. Visit one of the many museums, by Picasso, Miró or the new MoCo museum. Or go to a concert in the modernist and breathtaking Palau de la Musica. And of course enjoy a drink on the cozy squares and eat in one of the many tapas bars. Just 45 minutes from Torre Nova.
You probably have a Barcelona guide with you, but on this page we have listed all the highlights, our local tips and a number of useful tips for you. Do you have any questions (or nice additions that you have discovered yourself) let us know!
Here you will find the information website of Barcelona. For the busier highlights, it is also recommended to buy online entrance tickets in advance, it can save you a long wait.
Barcelona is safe, you do not have to worry. However, just like in any big city, it is good to be alert to your belongings. Especially at popular tourist locations such as the Rambla and around the Sagrada Familia.
Highlights & hidden gems in Barcelona
Transport to and in Barcelona - Bike tour
By car to Barcelona and parking there
A highlight during your Torre Nova holiday is of course a visit to Barcelona, approx. 45 minutes by car via the A2 motorway. Traffic to and in Barcelona is less busy than you would think, so don´t worry about going there by car. You can get to the city center in two ways: via the B-23 and Avenida Diagonal or via the C-31 (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes).
Parking on the street is almost impossible, but there are parkings everywhere in Barcelona, well marked and not super expensive. In the center it is best to park in one of the following parkings: Plaza Catalunya, Plaza Nova or World Trade Center. A cheap option is Parking Viajeros, near Camp Nou, 5 minutes walk from FC Barcelona stadium, and 2 minutes from Badal metro station (Google maps). Cost € 7.50 per calendar day, book in advance via www.parkingviajeros.com. Carrer de Carreras i Candi, 65, 08028 Barcelona - Google maps.
Environmental permit mandatory for foreign cars
Barcelona has a low-emisson zone since 2020 and a permit is mandatory in the inner city ring. Spanish rental cars have these of course, but foreign cars need a permit to drive in downtown Barcelona. If you plan to visit Barcelona with your foreign car, make sure you have applied for a permit with AMB in advance, so that you do not run the risk of an unnecessary fine (cameras are used to check when you enter the city centre).
The registration and subsequent application for day permits can be arranged for online. Click on 'Registration request'. On the next page, choose the country where your car is registered and choose 'Fast procedure to request 10 daily permits'. Enter your details and those of your car and you will need to upload a photo of the front and back of your registration certificate. At the bottom you can enter the dates of your intended visits to Barcelona. You pay by credit card (can sometimes cause problems in case of foreign credit cards. The permit costs €5 per day. If you are registered with AMB, you can also buy the day permits at the post office, online or on site, for example in Capellades, open from Mon - Fri from 8.30am - 2.30pm (5 min - Google maps).
A Danish, German, French or Austrian environmental sticker is also valid in Spain, BUT, STRANGELY, NOT IN BARCELONA CITY. At sede.dgt.gob.es/es/vehiculos/distintivo-ambiental/equivalencia-distintivo-ambiental-ue.shtml you can see which foreign stickers are accepted.
On the AMB website you will find a map with the area where the environmental sticker applies.
Tip: You do not need a permit during the weekends and public holidays.
By train to Barcelona
You can also visit Barcelona by train from Capellades (station at 5 min - Google maps). The train journey takes approx. 1 h 15 min). FGC Line R6 (Igualada - Barcelona). You can buy tickets on the platform at the vending machine with your credit or debit card (Note: not on the train). End station is Barcelona – Plaza España (5 zones). A single ticket costs approx. €6.50. From Plaza España you can continue by metro to any destination in Barcelona, e.g. with line 1 (red) to Plaza Catalunya (in the heart of the city centre). From Barcelona, take the train back to Capellades from Plaza España. The train normally runs once an hour, check the timetable here and look at the stop times at Capellades and Plaza España station.
Moving around in Barcelona
It is nice to stroll through Barcelona, but if you want to see a number of sights in one day, we have the following tips:
Barcelona Tourist Bus: Hop on hop off bus that passes all the sights of Barcelona. Here you will find information about options and prices.
Metro: You can buy tickets at the vending machine at any metro station in Barcelona. The 10-trip tickets are for individual use. It may be cheaper for a family to buy a family card, which you can use with more people. Here you will find an overview of the metroschedule in Barcelona.
Cycling: You can rent bicycles and explore Barcelona by yourself, for example using a route from the WikiLoc app. Rent your bicycles (including e-bikes) at the special bycicle shop Bicycle shop El Ciclo. Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc 17 (150 meters from the Ramblas between Plaza Real and the old port). Google maps You can make a reservation via the website or via phone or whatsapp.
It is great fun to take a guided bike tour, even with small children. You experience Barcelona in a completely different way and visit to 'off the beaten track' places that you would never have found otherwise. If you want to make a bicycle tour, you will also find the information on this page (Tab 'Bicycle tour in Barcelona').
World famous and the symbol of Barcelona, spectacular from the outside but especially from the inside. The basilica has been under construction since 1882 and is expected to be completed in 2026. Construction is now in a phase where the exterior appearance changes spectacularly with the arrival of the tower of Mary and the huge central tower of Jesus. C/ de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona - Google maps.
You have the choice between a visit to the basilica, or the combination with a visit to one of the towers. Buy tickets online well in advance and choose the time of your visit. You can find all the information on website sagradafamilia.org.
Other masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí
You shouldn´t miss Parc Guëll, with panoramic views over Barcelona and a unique combination of nature and bizarre modernist buildings and sculptures. Buy your tickets online in time and choose the time of your visit. Here you will find all information: www.parkguell.barcelona. Google maps.
Casa Milà: After Sagrada Familia the most spectacular building designed by Antoni Gaudí. You will also visit an originally furnished apartment and the spectacular roof terrace with the surrealist towers. On summer evenings there is a light music show. Here you will find all the information: lapedrera.com. Google maps.
Less known but also definitely worth a visit:
Palau Guëll is a magnificent palace and the home of Gaudî's patron Eusebi Güell, a wealthy textile manufacturer. It is on a side street off the Ramblas. Known for its beautiful turrets on the roof. Here you will find all the information: www.palauguell.cat. Carrer Nou de la Rambla 3-5, Barcelona - Google maps.
Casa Vicens is the first house built by Gaudî in barcelona, it is located in the Grácia district. Here you will find all the information: casavicens.org. Carrer de les Carolines 20-26, Barcelona - Google maps.
Torre Bellesguard is also a well-kept secret. It is a tribute by Gaudî to the medieval castles and the head of a dragon is hidden in the roof.Carrer de Bellesguard, 20, 08022 Barcelona - Google maps.
Colònia Güell is a relatively undiscovered modernist gem. It is a working-class colony about 20 kilometers from Barcelona, in Santa Coloma de Cervelló. The village was built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by order of the textile magnate Eusebi Güell, who moved his factory here from the Sants district of Barcelona. The highlight of a visit to the Colònia Güell is the crypt designed here by Antoni Gaudí. According to some, the crypt is even Gaudí's best-preserved treasure. You can also follow a route through the village, where you will encounter several impressive modernist buildings. Carrer Claudi Güell, 08690 La Colònia Güell, Barcelona - Google maps.
Ciutat Vella: districts of El Gótic, El Born and El Raval
It was not until the construction of the Eixample district in the nineteenth century that Barcelona suddenly became a much larger city. Before that time, Barcelona roughly consisted of the neighborhoods El Born, El Raval and El Gotic. This part is now called Ciutat Vella, the old center.
The Gothic Quarter
Between Plaza Catalunya, the Ramblas and the Mediterranean sea is the atmospheric Gothic quarter. The oldest remains of the city can be found in this district, a maze of medieval streets and charming squares interspersed with remains of the old Roman city and, of course, many medieval buildings. The heart of the Gothic Quarter is the Barcelona Cathedral area, the Jewish district El Call and the political center, Plaça Sant Jaume. This is also the most touristical part.
On Plaza Nova you will find the Cathedral. In the courtyard you will find 13 white geese that protect the city of Barcelona. This number 13 has everything to do with Santa Eulalia, she died of thirteen tortures by the Romans at the age of thirteen and is the patron saint of the city. You will find lots of nice shopping streets and restaurants in the Gótic district.
The trendy district of El Born runs from the other side of Via Laetiana to the urban park ´Parc de la Ciutadella´. A labyrinth of small streets with nice shops to wander through. Here is also located the basilica 'Santa Maria del Mar' (Google maps), known from the book by Ildefonso Falcones. In El Born you can enjoy a delicious meal in one of the countless restaurants. You will also find the Picasso museum (Carrer de Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona - Google maps) and the Moco museum (Carrer de Montcada, 25, 08003 Barcelona - Google maps).
The El Raval district has a growing popularity lately. This old quarter is located to the right of the Ramblas (looking towards the sea). Here, again, a maze of small streets. You will find the Rambla de Raval (Google maps), known for the bronze sculpture ´The Cat´ by the Colombian artist Botero. Of course you can also enjoy delicious food in El Raval, our favorite is the vegetarian restaurant Flax & Kale, near Plaza Universitat (Google maps). In El Raval you will also find the museum of contemporary art MACBA (Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona - Google maps) and the Center de Cultura Contempòranea de Barcelona CCCB (Carrer de Montalegre, 5, 08001 Barcelona - Google maps).
The lively boulevard from Plaza Catalunya to the harbor Port Vell. An experience to stroll over. On your way to the port you pass on the right the Mercat de la Boqueria, the largest and most beautiful fresh market in Spain. Further on on the left there is a passage to the beautiful square Plaza Real, and at the end you will find the street painters, who make comical portraits of you.
Tip: It is better not to eat or drink on the Rambla, very expensive and often poor quality (a few streets away from the Rambla you will find much more authentic and cheaper alternatives).
At the harbor is located the Columbus monument, you can take an elevator up and enjoy the view at the Rambla and the harbor (Mirador de colon). If you cross the footbridge to the Port Vell (old harbour) at the harbour, you will arrive at the Mare Magnum shopping centre. Next to the harbor you will find the Aquarium of Barcelona. One of the largest and most beautiful in Europe, with bizarre fish and sea creatures. You go through a glass tunnel of 100 meters, which makes you really seem to be walking in the sea next to sharks, squids and all kinds of other special fish. Fun for children and adults (Google maps).
Parc de la Ciutadella
Just past the El Born district and near the Arc de Triomf you will find the Parc de la Ciutadella (Google maps). It is the largest park in Barcelona and very popular among the city's residents. It dates from 1888 and you will find a monumental waterfall on a large pond, the Catalan parliament building and the zoo ‘Parc Zoologic de Barcelona’ (Google maps).
Palau de la Musica Catalana
There are Spanish guitar concerts in Barcelona all year round. often at special locations in Barcelona, such as in the Palau de la Musica or the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar (El Born) Here you will find information about the concerts and artists: maestros de guitarra.
Font Mágica or Magic Fountain, is a spectacular attraction for young and old. The fountain is located near Plaza España at the foot of Montjuïc mountain, below the monumental National Palace. The fountain was specially built for the 1929 Barcelona World Exhibition. There are free shows from Thursday to Sunday, combining water shapes, light and music. Here you will find the actuele timetable of the shows. Google maps. Shopping center Las Arenas is also located on Plaza España, in the former bullring of Barcelona. You can park underneath - Google maps.
Tip: Combine a visit to the Font Màgic with eating pinchos in Carrer Blai. You can eat at several bars in one evening. It doesn't have to be expensive, the pinchos are available from €1.00. The Carrer Blai is located in the Poble sec district and is a 5-minute walk from the Plaza España. Google maps.
Las Arenas shopping center
Carrer Blai - the street for pinchos
Hospital de Sant Pau
This former hospital is the most important work of the Catalan modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. After more than a century as the home of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a major renovation has restored the cultural and artistic glory of the Sant Pau Modernist site. It is close to the Sagrada Familia and is well worth a visit. During the Christmas period there is a spectacular light show/mapping on the modernist buildings. Here you will find all information about the Hospital de Sant Pau. Hospital de Sant Pau. Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167, 08025 Barcelona - Google maps.
Spanish Open Air Museum close to Plaza España. Charming squares and streets with historic Spanish buildings, feel the richness of the Spanish heritage. From traditions and architecture to old crafts, contemporary art and original shopping. Worth it for young and old. Here you will find all the information: pobleespanyol - Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13, 08038 Barcelona - Google maps).
The Montjuïc mountain (213 meters) towers over above Barcelona. In 1929 the world exhibition took place here, with the Font Mágica as the most famous construction. Furthermore, on Montjüich you will find palaces, pavilions, the Jardin Botánico (Av. dels Montanyans, 26, 08038 Barcelona - Google maps), and the Olympic stadium where the 1992 Olympic Games took place (Passeig Olímpic, 15-17, 08038 Barcelona - Google maps). Finally, on Montjüich you will find the famous Miró museum. Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona - Google maps.
Fútbol Club Barcelona
The Camp Nou stadium is currently being renovated and there is no stadium tour. However, there is a new museum with an immersive experience and very worthwhile. The stadium will reopen in November 2024 on the club's 125th anniversary.
Here you will find a flashy video with all our experiences in Camp Nou over the past few years.
Home games will be played until Novemberc 2024 at the Olympic stadium on Montjuic mountain (Google maps), near Plaza España in Barcelona.
You can buy tickets online. Here you will find all information (including parking and shuttle buses to the stadium): FC Barcelona.
CosmoCaixa is a science museum, a fun outing for the kids. It deals with themes such as nature, technology and sustainability through interactive experiments around the Amazon (the 'tree of life'), the universe (planetarium) and the Neanderthals. You can find more information and a video on the CosmoCaixa website. Carrer d'Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona - Google maps.
Candy shop Papa Bubble
A true children's paradise is Papa Bubble, a store where authentic candy is made by hand in front of you. Here you will find all the information: www.papabubble.com. You can find Papa Bubble in the Gothic Quarter, between Plaza San Jaume and Plaza Real. Carrer dels Banys Nous, 3, 08002 Barcelona - Google maps.
Casa de les Punxes
Casa de les Punxes is a large Gothic castle in the middle of Avinguda Diagonal. It is one of the most recognizable modernist landmarks of Barcelona's skyline. It was built by the modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. His project, which was completed in 1905, resulted in an imposing triangular structure that rises like a grand six-turreted medieval castle. The nickname, "Casa de les Punxes", comes from the conical roofs, which end in a peak.
You need tickets to visit the Casa de les Punxes. You can buy these on the spot or in advance online. The visit can only be done with an audio guide or a guide and includes, among other things, the beautiful exhibition on the legend of Sant Jordi. Information about the Casa de les Punxes and Catalan Modernism and a visit to the roof terrace, to which can be added a glass of cava.
Shopping in Barcelona
Barcelona is a paradise for shopping and offers a wide choice of shops, such as on the stately Passeig de Gracia (Google maps), El Corte Ingles on Plaza Catalunya, the Spanish Harrods (Google maps) and in the Gothic quarter immediately south of Plaza Catalunya. In the Avenida del Portal d'Angel (Google maps) or the streets around Carrer d'Avinyó (Google maps). Here you can find original handmade shoes, handmade lamps and statues and you will also find more design and vintage shops. Other shopping areas can be found in the El Born district (see the tab above 'Ciutat Vella').
Large shopping malls
Here you will find all kinds of shops from all major chains. All major shopping malls also have a variety of restaurants. Here you will find all the information:
Be sure to visit the famous Mercat de la Boqueria on the Rambla, the largest and most beautiful fresh market in Spain. A colorful spectacle of people, fruit and vegetables, fish and meat. The market can count on international fame: for example, a Spanish restaurant called Boquería was opened in New York. La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona - Google maps.
Mercat de Sant Antoni
De Mercat de Sant Antoni is een van de belangrijkste markten voor locals in Barcelona. De oorsprong gaat terug tot de tijd van Barcino, de Romeinse stad die voorafgaat aan het huidige Barcelona. Het fraaie gebouw, ingehuldigd in 1882, is ontworpen door de architect Antoni Rovira i Trías en is in 2018 heropend na een grondige renovatie. Het gebouw herbergt drie eigen markten: een versmarkt en rommelmarkt (maandag tot zaterdag 8.00 - 20.30 uur, zondag gesloten). Carrer del Comte d'Urgell 1, Barcelona - Google maps.
Flea markets in Barcelona
Mercat dels Encants is a unique combination of shops, stands and auctions where you can find fashion and vintage decoration, original items, new and outlet products, unique gifts, art and antiques. Everything you can think of. You can also enjoy good food and drink and watch the spectacle of the market . Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm. Carrer de los Castillejos 158, Barcelona, there is a parking under the building - Google maps.
Mercantic Vintage Village in Sant Cugat, aan de noordkant van Barcelona, is een andere aanrader. Mercantic is gevestigd in een oude keramische fabriek en sinds 1992 het referentiepunt voor liefhebbers van antieke en vintage objecten. 100 kleine winkels bieden het publiek een grote verscheidenheid aan decoratieve, design-, interieur- en artistieke objecten, die alle tijden, stijlen en prijzen vertegenwoordigen. Je kunt er in het weekend gratis parkeren, een voorstelling bijwonen en lunchen of wat drinken. Geopend van dinsdag tot zaterdag 10.00 - 20.00 u en zondag van 10.00 - 15.00 u. Een deel van augustus gesloten - kijk op Facebook. Avenida de Rius i Taulet, 120, 08173 Sant Cugat del Vallès - Google maps.
It goes too far to mention all the museums in Barcelona, but we have listed a number of well-known and lesser-known museums for you here.
Tip: Many museums are accessible for free on the first Sunday of the month.
Barcelona Art ticket
You can find more information here and purchase a Barcelona Art Ticket online, which gives you discounted access to six leading museums. You can also buy individual tickets on the websites of the various museums.
Museo del Modernismo - Unfortunately temporarily closed. Barcelona is especially known for Gaudí, and its Modernism. Above we have already highlighted all the highlights and lesser-known works of Gaudí. But you also get a good impression of Modernist design style in this museum, nearby Plaza Catalunya: Carrer de Balmes, 48, 08007 Barcelona - Google maps.
Museu Frederic Marès - Dat één man tijdens zijn leven zo ontzettend veel verzameld heeft, is 'impresionante'. Op de fraaie binnenplaats kun je een heerlijke kop koffie drinken. Plaça Sant Iu, 5, 08002 Barcelona - Google maps.
Big Fun museum - A nice museum for children is the Big Fun museum, with 7 museums under one roof in the heart of Barcelona. It includes the Guinness World Record Museum, Upside Down House, Sweet Museum, Giant's House, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Food Art, Madness Museum and a lounge area with ball pool. Here you can buy online tickets. Rambla de Sant Josep, 88-94, 08002 Barcelona - Google maps.
Museum of Illusions - Another fun museum for kids! You can take photos with all kinds of 3D illusions. Be part of famous paintings! Here you can buy online tickets. Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 17, 08001 Barcelona - Google maps.
Casa Ametller is right next to Casa Battló. The facade of the colorful building is reminiscent of that of a traditional Amsterdam canal house. The modernist architect Puig i Cadafalch was therefore inspired by the Netherlands and mixed those influences with Catalan Gothic. He built Casa Amatller on behalf of the chocolate manufacturer Antoni Amatller, who made his chocolate brand, founded by his grandfather, famous in Spain and Europe. You can take a tour through the beautifully decorated and completely original furnished house. On the ground floor is still located the famous chocolate shop. Here you can buy online tickets. Passeig de Gràcia, 41, 08007 Barcelona - Google maps.